John Milton Hay

(This portrait image unfortunately isn't a postcard, but the frontispiece to "The Life of John Hay".)

 
Every Salem native knows the local-boy-made-good story of John Hay, but few, perhaps, realize exactly how good he made it. Hay's role as private secretary to President Lincoln is what we remember. What we overlook is his success over the next four decades after he left the White House. He made a financially advantageous marriage, became a journalist and noted author of sentimental verse ("Pike County Ballads") and fiction, a leading capitalist, and a Washington insider. He held several diplomatic and State Department posts. President Hayes made him Assistant Secretary of State. President McKinley appointed him ambassador to the Court of St. James and in 1898, Secretary of State. Hay held that office for seven years, serving in the cabinets of presidents McKinley and Roosevelt. He died in New Hampshire on July 1, 1905.

Books by John Hay -- John Hay moved through many careers, but he was always a writer -- newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, a novel, and biography.

Books about John Hay -- Any one of Hay's many areas of accomplishment would make him an irresistable subject for critics and biographers -- poet, journalist, statesman, power broker. Together they have become a rich vein of ore for the scholarship industry.

John Hay on the Web -- You can find links to book reviews, accounts of Hay's role in the Open Door Policy, and above all, the complete text of his major poetical works.

Memorials to John Hay -- The enduring memorials to John Hay's accomplishments aren't bricks and mortar, but his writings and contributions to public policy. Still, There are John Hay Schools and a John Hay Library and . . . John Hay Cigars?

The Family of John Hay -- John Hay's way with social connections and the accumulation of wealth -- and, to be sure, literary accomplishment and public service -- was passed along to a family that has taken a large place on the American stage over the past century.

Books by John Hay |  Books about John Hay |  John Hay on the Web |  Memorials to John Hay |  The Hay Family

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